Metal Finishers: The Options Seem Endless

Whenever a fabricator or metal worker alter the surface area of by type of metal, he or she is finishing the product. The rationale behind this is usually functional but can also be aesthetic in nature. Metal finishers often focus on improving in some form the characteristics or properties of the substrate surface. This is possible in a seemingly countless number of ways.

Options for Metal Finishing

Metal finishing involves some type of mechanical operation. These can be a simple adjustment or may be more complex in nature. The most common types of metal finishing are:

Metal Plating: Both electroplating or electroless plating
Brushed Metal
Buff Polishing and deburring
Metal Grinding
Metal Vibratory Finishing
Sand Blasting
Coating: Either liquid or dry powder coating
Hot Blackening

Some post fabrication work such as passivation is a tool by metal finishers to improve the overall capabilities of the substrate metal.

Why Finishing Is Important

All these actions provide a vital service to the manufacturing process. The function of these processes is to provide or improve any or all of the following qualities:
Better corrosion protection
Enhanced electrical conductivity or electrical resistance
Greater heat resistance
Improved heat resistance or tolerance
Dimensional Restoration
Increased durability
Superior chemical resistance
Elevated tarnish resistance
Potential for vulcanization
Enriched decorative charm

The specific result will depend on several major factors. These are the material, the specifications of the customer and the intended environment.

Metal Finishers

Metal finishing “finishes” the product. It provides the surface of the metal component or product with certain desirable qualities. Metal finishers imbue the metal with such properties through one of many different techniques or processes. Whether they employ plating, coating or grinding, the goal is to prepare the metal to function appropriately in its designated environment. To accomplish this, they need first to consider three major factors: the base metal, the purpose of the component and the environment.

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